A company called Orion is building a Hotel on Earth’s orbit

A company called Orion is building a Hotel on Earth’s orbit

A luxurious hotel will be created in the orbit by Orion Span which will start accommodating guests from 2022.

Scientists are striving every day to make humans a multi-planetary species. Missions are being sent to different parts of the universe in order to find any signs of life. The efforts of Elon Musk’s SpaceX to colonize Mars is one such example where humans will be transferred to the outside world with the intentions of settling on the red planet. Similarly, there are other organizations like Blue Origin who are hoping to send tourists into space. In this scenario, a question that comes to human mind is that is there any other place where these people can go? It seems as if Orion Span has an answer to this massive query.

They want to develop a luxury hotel in orbit and the expected date of its completion is four years from now if everything goes according to plan. The ‘Aurora Station’ will be lofted in the last parts of 2021 and the guests will be able to visit it in 2022. This announcement was made on 5th April at the Space 2.0 Summit in California.

He told the world that the prices of these tours are kept quite affordable in comparison to what people have paid for such visits in the past. According to reports, the people who visited International Space Station from 2001 to 2009 paid $20 million to $40 million per trip. On the other hand, a 12-day stay at Aurora Station will cost $9.5 million. This price includes everything including a three-month training program. The founder and CEO of Orion Span, Frank Bunger, said,

We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel.”

Although the announcement is made, a lot of working will be needed to complete this amazing project. The hotel will be as big as the cabin of a large private jet and it will have 5650 feet3 of pressurized space in it. Its 43.5 feet long and 14.1 feet wide. For comparison sake, the length of the International Space Station is 357 feet and the space inside it is measured to be 32,333 feet3. This hotel has the capacity to cater six people (two professional crew members and a maximum of four guests). The booking for a stay in the Aurora Station is open and you can reserve your place by paying a deposit of $80,000. For those of you who are interested, the amount is totally refundable in case you change your plan or there are some technical delays.

Bunger told the media that Orion Span itself is building this station. All the manufacturing activity is being done in Houston while the testing will be done in Bay Area. The CEO also claimed that the software responsible for its operation is also under construction. Talking about the ways they adopted to cut-down the cost tremendously, he said,

There’s been innovation around the architecture to make it more modular and more simple to use and have more automation, so we don’t have to have EVAs [extravehicular activities] or spacewalks. The goal when we started the company was to create that innovation to make simplicity possible, and by making simplicity possible, we drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it.”

The idea proposed by Bunger is not only cool but highly effective if implemented properly. The major reason for this will be the price factor. Right now, the United States is paying nearly $75 million to Russia for sending one astronaut to the International Space Station. If the plans of Orion Span are converted to reality, huge amounts of money could be saved and more astronauts can be sent into the orbit, simultaneously. Having said that, there are some questions that Bunger will need to answer to achieving success.

Most of them are related to logistics and the funding needed for this mega project. Bunger stated that project is self-funded for now apart from the two angel investors. He refused to mention their names. He also explained that they are planning to go for an investment round in the coming months. The mean through which Aurora Station and its occupants will go into the orbit is also not decided as yet. Bunger acknowledged this fact that Orion Span has not signed any deals with launch providers till now.

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